Results from the monitoring of the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) in North-Eastern Bulgaria

In 2012 the monitoring of the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) in North-Eastern Bulgariashowed some interesting facts. There are just two winter records, which is much less than during the previous years.There are no indications this year about the existence of winter Temporary Settlement Areas (TSA), which were typical during the previous years. 

A total of 9 observations of Sakers, migrating through the project region, were collected during the spring migration. Their locations largely correspond to the “airways” known from previous years.This fact once again confirms the speculation that the species keeps to certain “migration corridors” in spite of the fact that it is a perfect active flyer. During the period of post-breeding movements just one bird was recorded and 8 others were registered during the period of autumn migration, most of them again on the well-known “airways”.

The BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria teams working on the international Life+ Project ‘Conservation of Falco cherrug in North-Eastern Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia’ (LIFE09NAT/HU/000384) paid special attention to the Sakermonitoring during the breeding season. In 2012 the potential breeding sites were partly surveyed, according to the project schedule. In spite of that, 16 records of Sakers with some breeding probability were gatheredin three different sectors of the project region. It is possible some of the observed birds to have been late migrants or non-breeding individuals, but there were records of adult Sakers in suitable sites for breeding in mid-May and in mid-June as well.In some cases the observed Sakerswere successfully hunting on Rooks (Corvus frugilegus). One Saker was observed to attack, pursuit and try to take the prey from a Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). Unfortunately, the species was not recorded during two different visits toa site where in 2011 a hunting pair was observed. A possible reason can be either the absence of the pair this year, orthe extensive area which is very difficult to survey.

For more information:

Dr. Petar Iankov,
Mobile: +359 878 599 373

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